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Coronavirus-triggered layoffs in US hit nearly 39 million

WASHINGTON: The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits in the two months since the coronavirus took hold in the US has swelled to nearly 39 million, the government reported Thursday, even as states from coast to coast gradually reopen their economies and let people go back to work.More than 2.4 million people filed for…

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US auto industry starts to return to life after lockdown

DUBAI: Oil prices surged on Monday as crude markets took heart from signals of pandemic lockdowns easing and an upturn in economic activity. “Oil is back!” US President Donald Trump tweeted as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the American benchmark, leapt 7 percent to about $32 a barrel, its highest for a month. Brent, the global benchmark,…

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Saudi move could be followed by more tax hikes across Arab world

ABU DHABI: More Arab economies may need to follow Saudi Arabia in hiking taxes to replenish reserves that have been savaged by the spread of the coronavirus and the collapse of oil prices, say analysts.The double whammy of the pandemic and the collapse in oil prices could force Gulf states to raise fresh funds through…

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Airbnb faces major blow amid coronavirus pandemic

ATHENS: At the foot of the Acropolis hill, in the touristic Koukaki district, the coronavirus lockdown has silenced the sound of Airbnb customers’ wheeled luggage. The tourist industry in Athens, as in many other European capitals, has ground to a halt, with planes grounded and restaurants, museums and archaeological monuments all closed.This has left a…

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UAE not planning VAT hike: finance minister

ATHENS: At the foot of the Acropolis hill, in the touristic Koukaki district, the coronavirus lockdown has silenced the sound of Airbnb customers’ wheeled luggage. The tourist industry in Athens, as in many other European capitals, has ground to a halt, with planes grounded and restaurants, museums and archaeological monuments all closed.This has left a…

Business

Coronavirus pandemic a major blow for Airbnb

ATHENS: At the foot of the Acropolis hill, in the touristic Koukaki district, the coronavirus lockdown has silenced the sound of Airbnb customers’ wheeled luggage.The tourist industry in Athens, as in many other European capitals, has ground to a halt, with planes grounded and restaurants, museums and archaeological monuments all closed.This has left a huge…

Business

Samsung heir apologizes over corruption scandal

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia will emerge as the victor of the oil price war that sent global crude markets into a spin last month, according to two experts in the energy industry. Jason Bordoff, professor and founding director of the Center for Global Energy policy at New York’s Columbia University, said: “While 2020 will be remembered…

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Norwegian Air gets bondholder deal on $1.2bn debt-for-equity swap

DUBAI: Alain Bejjani is in no doubt about the destructive power of the “tsunami” that has swept over the world with the coronavirus pandemic. The chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), one of the biggest and best-known conglomerates in the Middle East, told Arab News: “This is beyond business. This will change how we…

Business

Indian bank bad debt could double after COVID-19 crisis

DUBAI: Alain Bejjani is in no doubt about the destructive power of the “tsunami” that has swept over the world with the coronavirus pandemic. The chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), one of the biggest and best-known conglomerates in the Middle East, told Arab News: “This is beyond business. This will change how we…

Business

Saudi Arabia rises up key international budget transparency index

LONDON: Economic lockdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic look set to cut global energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions by record amounts, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. Global energy demand could slump by 6 percent in 2020 due to the restrictions placed on homes and industry in what would be the…

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Lockdowns to slash energy demand, emissions: IEA

SINGAPORE: Companies selling crude and condensate in Asia have added a new clause in contracts that prevents prices of their oil from falling below zero, eight sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday. Oil markets were stunned on April 20 when US crude futures collapsed into negative territory for the first time in…

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Oil sellers ‘adding zero price clause to contracts’

LONDON: Economic lockdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic look set to cut global energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions by record amounts, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. Global energy demand could slump by 6 percent in 2020 due to the restrictions placed on homes and industry in what would be the…

Business

Southeast Asia’s Grab offers staff no-pay leave as coronavirus saps demand

BEIJING: Chinese factory activity continued to expand in April, data showed Thursday, but analysts warned that the outlook remained clouded by battered overseas demand as the rest of the world struggles to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.While the country ramps up economic production as daily life slowly gets back to normal following weeks of strict lockdown…

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Chinese factory activity slows in face of coronavirus pandemic

SINGAPORE: Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab said on Thursday it is offering some staff unpaid leave and senior executives are taking salary cuts as it moves to conserve cash amid falling demand because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.“Senior Grab leaders are reducing salaries by up to 20 percent this year and we have given employees…

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Abu Dhabi announces world’s lowest tariff for solar power

DUBAI: The COVID-19 crisis and the resulting fall in demand for oil hit Saudi Arabia’s finances in the first quarter of 2020. The Kingdom’s Ministry of Finance announced its budget for the first three months of the year, taking in March when economic lockdowns were introduced across most countries in the world and oil prices fell…

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Iconic Dubai Gold Souk reopens with high safety measures 

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPower) announced on Tuesday the world’s lowest tariff for solar power, state news agency WAM reported. ADPower has submitted a commercial bid for the 2 GW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Producer (IPP) project to be located in Abu Dhabi. The tariff set at $1.35/kWh on a Levelized Electricity Cost (LEC) basis,…

Business

Samsung profit slips on coronavirus, more falls forecast

TUNIS: Tunisia will start relaxing its coronavirus lockdown next week, reopening parts of the food and construction sectors and allowing half of government employees to return to work, it said on Wednesday.Its lockdown, in place since March, has stopped 25,000 cases of the virus and 1,000 deaths, Health Minister Abdelatif el-Makki said on television. Tunisia,…

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